Towards a framework for designing and assessing game-based approaches for sustainable water governance

Alice H. Aubert*, Wietske Medema, Arjen E.J. Wals

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Most of the literature on serious games and gamification calls for a shift from evaluating practices to using theories to assess them. While the former is necessary to justify using game-based approaches, the latter enables understanding "why" game-based approaches are beneficial (or not). Based on earlier review papers and the papers in this special issue of Water entitled "Understanding game-based approaches for improving sustainable water governance: the potential of serious games to solve water problems", we show that game-based approaches in a water governance context are relatively diverse. In particular, the expected aims, targeted audience, and spatial and temporal scales are factors that differentiate game-based approaches. These factors also strongly influence the design of game-based approaches and the research developed to assess them. We developed a framework to guide and reflect on the design and assessment of game-based approaches, and we suggest opportunities for future research. In particular, we highlight the lack of game-based approaches that can support "society-driven" sustainable water governance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number869
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019


  • Gamification
  • Serious games
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Sustainability
  • Water governance

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Towards a framework for designing and assessing game-based approaches for sustainable water governance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this